Sunday, July 31, 2011

Books vs Movies: The Great Matchup

Most people will tell you the book is always better than the movie. I certainly agree with that statement. I still refuse to forgive the making of Michael Crichton’s book, Timeline, into a movie.

To say it was a joke is an understatement. If you haven’t read the book please do so it has everything: mystery, romance, science fiction, action, history, and drama. It doesn’t leave a genre out except maybe western, but there are posses and horses.

However, there are three movies that compete with my affections for the book:

The first one is Rebecca.

The book captured my attention my junior year in high school. Beautifully written with a mystery unlike any other, and it seems nearly impossible, but it isn’t until you’ve read the entire book you realize you never know the main character, the narrator’s name. 

As a young girl I felt the fears and hesitations of the second Mrs. deWinter, and with time have come to understand and appreciate so much more of what Daphne DuMaurie did in this brilliant novel.

So, when I found out there was a movie version of the book I was slightly skeptical, but it was done by the ever cool Alfred Hitchcock. And so I rented the movie from JJ’s Video where I worked:

Alfred Hitchcock’s version of this movie is beyond beautiful. The look and feel of Manderly, the emotions from the actors, and the overall story were wonderfully rendered in this black and white film. Laurence Olivier plays a wonderfully handsome, warm, ever cool if not slightly scary Maxim deWinter. Joan Fontaine is perfect as the ever awkward and unsure 2nd Mrs. deWinter.

Plus my crush on George Sanders still holds up even though he plays Rebecca’s cousin.

The movie very much veers from the book in the manner of the death of Rebecca deWinter, and the ending. However, the slight innocence in this movie was refreshing and gave the story a more hopeful outlook versus the book.

Although if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, read the book first! I don’t think you can truly appreciate all that Alfred Hitchcock brings to life without having read the book first.

 The second movie and book combo is The Princess Bride.

Inconceivable, I know. I was always a fan of the movie, not knowing that it was based on the book. Then in my freshman year of high school I had read through Animal Farm faster than the other students (mostly out of sheer will to finish it. I hated that book!) and my teacher said I could read something a little more fun to counter balance what we were reading. I had a hard time reading it in class I was laughing so hard.

The movie has nothing on the book in terms of laughter and that is saying something. The movie does a great job with Prince Humperdink, Princess Buttercup, and of course the amazing Wesley (played by the crush worthy Carey Elwes).

And while the movie brings out the wonderful romance of Wesley and Buttercup I can’t help but think of the description set out in the book. And this is where the movie and the book do battle in my mind. Quite frankly they are both stellar and no matter what order you go in movie or book first both should delight in the most endearing of ways.

The final movie and book combo is Pride & Prejudice

I'll be honest when I was younger I had a hard time reading this book.  However, soon I got into the rhythm of the language and I, like so many others, fell in love with the book.

When I was younger I didn't understand Mr. Darcy that well, but the older I got the more it made sense.  Although I always identified more with Jane than Elizabeth, I always admired and longed-for Elizabeth's boldness.

(On a personal note I always thought Jane should do better because Mr. Bingley seemed like such a push over and I was never sure he would continually take care of her.)....

There have been several versions of this amazing book, but none of them come close to the 1995 A&E version of the book.  Colin Firth was the PERFECT Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle did wonderful as his match, Elizabeth Bennett.

The movie does last five hours, but it brings to life the book.  If you aren't into Pride & Prejudice and want to shortcut watch this movie.  I quite enjoyed the version with Keira Knightly, but this one will always remain the closest and first movie that fully and wonderfully matched the book.

So what movie do you think did the book justice?

Speaking of movie magic... don't forget the music!  This is one of my favorite musical pieces of all time:

Jurassic Park Theme Song
by: John Williams

Much Love,

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Stellar Weekend

I must say that a few months ago I was praying for today. I prayed of a time when I could splurge on myself, have dinner with friends, have an eventful weekend, and at the end smile because it was all good.  I don't write this because I was to throw it in some one's face, but I want to tell those who are struggling that there is hope out there.  That dream you keep seeing, the vision that helps you go on when it isn't at all as you pictured, you will have that day.

Such a blessing this weekend was.

We went to dinner at RJ Gators on Friday night, and since I arrived early I was able to shop at the mall.  This proved to be fatal to my wallet. I found not one, but two beautiful purses.  I called my mom to ask what I should do. Her advice was to splurge on myself and enjoy some of my hard earned cash.  I had dreamed about it for months, why not take the time to do so.  Well, if Mom says it's okay who am I to argue?

On Saturday I started the day off early, but to spend time with Shas, helping her get ready for her baby shower? That I'm willing to do any time.  Besides spending time with your best friend is never a chore.  As soon as I know how big Baylor will be when Halloween rolls around this is the outfit he is getting. Shas loves Elvis and it is too cute to pass up.

Plus I got to spend the afternoon with my second family, Shas' mom and sister at the shower.  Afterward my mom and I went to the book store where I picked up this gem I've been waiting for:

Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts.  If you haven't read Erik Larson before, might I suggest, RUN and get any book of his.  My introduction to this fabulous author was his book, Devil in the White City, about the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and America's first serial killer, H.H. Holmes.  All non-fiction, but reads like a fantastic fiction book.  If you want an even easier read try his Isaac's Storm, about the hurricane that leveled Galveston in 1901. It is told from Isaac Hayes, the meteorologist of Galveston and the hurricane itself. With fabulous stories and a great read you can not go wrong reading anything Erik Larson writes!

Then today I got to visit with my favorite missionary family, The Johnson's, who were in town for the summer. If you'll remember I stayed with them when I lived in Mexico.  It was so good to see everyone and I even got to visit with D's mother, whom I enjoy so immensely.  Afterward I talked my dad into seeing:

Captain America.  Wonderful movie. It had humor, romance, no curse words, and a very handsome Chris Evans.  Plus Tommy Lee Jones was hilarious, my admiration for all things Stanley Tucci still stands, and it was really a fun ride.  I encourage anyone to see it.  Of course now I feel the need to see Thor...

Finally, I ended the day with some swimming, Jerseylicious, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  Truly a blessed day. I hope and pray this kind of weekend for all of you.  I just feel so blessed, and it feels so surreal.  I also feel slightly paranoid that it might not last, but I'm very, very grateful!

So Far Away
by Staind

Much Love,

Monday, July 18, 2011

Packing Reunion Style

Going to family reunions always seems to be a mixed bag of blessings for me.  The blessing, of course, is to see family I don’t get to see but once a year, and a chance to visit and spend time with others that I don’t know as well.  On the other hand it means hot weather, motel rooms, driving, and having limited options.  The only thing I would really complain about is the weather.  It has simply been atrocious both here in Texas, and even worse in Oklahoma.  However, after doing this for a while I have packing down pat.  Of course I always learn something new each trip, but here are the basics that never go away:

  1. Make a List! – It doesn’t really matter how you do this one. I usually write mine down, but if you like it on the computer then go for it.

    a. Start with what you use every day. I start writing down what I use from the moment I get up. Example: I’d write pillow (I only bring my pillow if I’m driving, otherwise, it takes up too much room if I fly.). Then I’d write PJs, rubber band, bobby pin (I hate having bangs at night), etc. Once I’ve written everything down. Then I would put it into categories. Feel free to not be that organized, but I do it because then I don’t have a cluttered list. I’m both lazy and anal retentive that way.

    b. Once I have the everyday needs written down, then I decide my wardrobe. On a side note for your underwear I always suggest adding two extra just in case. Because you just never know. Even if you are regular, on birth control pills, etc. there is something about vacation that can make your body do weird things, so just throw in a couple of products for the just in case time.

    c. PS: This should include electronics and chargers. DON’T FORGET THE CHARGER!
  2. Be a Walking Pharmacy – You will always be the hero if you keep the following things: aspirin, band-aids, Imodium AD, Pepto, Charcoal pills (these are the best if you are going to a foreign country or have a sensitive stomach), and Benadryl (or your favorite allergy / sinus medication).
  3. Bring Entertainment – I hardly ever have a chance to actually watch a movie, read a book, or skim through a magazine at my family reunions, but having them there helps ease any thoughts of boredom. Magazines and movies are great for the younger people around you, who might not enjoy sitting for long periods of time listening to current ailments of older family members.
  4. Ziploc Bags – I picked this tip up when I was a junior in high school on a bus to Disneyworld. Believe it or not things spill, bags don’t open correctly, and still some people don’t know how to close a bag properly. Ziploc bags fix all of this. I always bring a couple in the gallon size, and maybe some in the snack size. You’ll thank yourself repeatedly for having this. Repeatedly. And you can also thank me.

  5. Finally don’t forget to get some cash. I usually do $20 per person in my party, it doesn’t matter if they’re a kid or an adult who is just riding with me. It usually ensures I have a enough, but cash is a judgment call.

American Boy
by: Estelle ft. Kanye West

* Lyrics Warning

Much Love,

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Inspiration Board

I don't know about you, but I've been inspired lately.  I've been working on stories and after viewing some of Bethany Joy Galeotti's blog I felt I needed to make my own inspiration board.  I encourage you to make one as well.  Mine has some short term and long term desires in it.  You can view it here:

And so to keep in theme with this blog I felt the need to play this song as it always inspires me. 

Go the Distance
by Michael Bolton

Laugh if you will, but to me it is awesome!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Hello all!

I've been working on several things, but nothing really to show today.  I hate to sound like a broken record, but two jobs are kicking my butt.  I'm enjoying my opportunities, make no mistake, but sometimes when I get home I look at the computer and then run away.

Meanwhile I've been trying to curb my road rage, or more to the point, my frustration with drivers that go slow during rush hour. Rush is in the title for a reason.  I have a second job to get to and those drivers going slow does not help.

And then I heard this song, and I thought... my goodness my life is like a country song.  So there you go.

I'm in a Hurry
by: Alabama

Much Love,

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

My deepest gratitude to those who have allowed me the freedoms I so enjoy.  And to my Savior, who has given the greatest freedom.

Much Love,

Battle Hymn of the Republic